A Switch Poker player who converted his winnings on the felt into Bitcoins and left them lying dormant in his account for several months became a millionaire when the value of Bitcoins skyrocketed.
The unnamed player apparently was seeking a way to easily withdraw funds last year and transferred nearly €150,000 into Bitcoins on Switch Poker, the Costa Rica-based poker room featuring the use of mobile devices that was the first to embrace using the “internet currency” in 2011. The value of Bitcoins shot up from about $15 in November to its current trading price of more than $200.
Whether the player allowed the coins to sit idly in his account due to laziness or speculating on a value increase is uncertain, cardplayer.com reported. What is certain is that his Bitcoins are now worth around €1.2 million.
The use of Bitcoins as a means of online poker currency is still in its infancy. Whether or not it catches on and its usage become widespread remains to be seen. Only a handful of lesser-known poker rooms are currently accepting Bitcoins as a way to transact funds. One of those sites, SealsWithClubs, suffered two Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks last month, forcing the site to shutdown for a few days.
A DDoS attack results when a number of computer systems are able to overload a website with incoming traffic. It is not known who was responsible for the attack and whether the theft of Bitcoins was the main goal of the hackers. However, with the spike in value of Bitcoins and the discovery that Bitcoin thievery has been on the rise at other Internet locations not directly related to online poker, most agree that pirating Bitcoins was the intent of the attack.
In any event, the U.S.-facing SealsWithClubs is back online with new software. But Bitcoin theft is certainly worrisome for any poker rooms that are considering adding the digital currency as a payment processing option for players.
WinPoker on the iPoker Network is another poker room that currently uses Bitcoins to transact funds. The room promotes the use of Bitcoins as being completely secure, stating that “transactions cannot be reversed and chargebacks are not possible. You cannot be locked out of your e-wallet account, and you have total ownership rights over your funds.” The site makes no mention of the possibility of Bitcoin theft or the market volatility.
Granted, the low processing costs, quick processing times, elimination of credit card fraud, and anonymity associated with using Bitcoins as an online poker payment processing function are all positive. Also, if you’re lucky enough to sit on a load of Bitcoins while the value shoots through the roof as the player on Switch Poker was able to do, you can end up a millionaire.